TO CHEW ON: "He gives power to the weak
And to those who have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:29
This chapter, that highlights in picturesque language God's cans, humankind's can'ts, His power, man's fragility, ends with a reminder of something we've all experienced—our exhaustion. It happens even to youths (Isaiah 40:30). God is the answer to this too.
Isaiah tells us the person who waits on God will be re-energized. That's how the NKJV renders it: "But those who wait on the Lord / Shall renew their strength..." - Isaiah 40:31. We get a picture of God, present and the supplicant waiting for His command or action. The NASB uses "for": "Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength..." We see someone waiting for God to arrive on the scene. Which is it?
The Amplified mixes the two together in its typically wordy and helpful way: "But those who wait for the Lord—who expect, look for and hope in Him—shall change and renew their strength and power…" - Isaiah 40:31 AMP.
So we hope and wait for Him to arrive and expect and look for His action (though He is present everywhere, so I suppose it's more a waiting to feel or sense His presence).
I believe one has to experience this to understand it. One way this has proved true in my life is when I take my hand off an exhausting situation, as in stop trying to control it so that it turns out the way I want it to. For it takes a lot of energy and worry and thought and focus to stay in control. As soon as I relinquish it to Him, I feel myself relax. With relaxation comes a sense of well-being and new energy.
Another way this waiting on/for God works is to be tuned in to Him continually—not only in a crisis. My Thompson Chain Bible refers, beside verse 31, to a list of verses titled "Seven Attitudes for the Spiritual Life"—a great template for balance.
- Lying down for spiritual rest - Psalm 23:2.
- Sitting for instruction - Luke 10:39.
- Standing for warfare - Ephesians 6:14.
- Walking for fellowship - 1 John 1:7.
- Running for progress - Hebrews 12:1.
- Leaping for ecstasy - Acts 3:8.
- Mounting up for exaltation - Isaiah 40:31.
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to give You all the things in my day, especially those that exhaust me when I try to handle them on my own. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)